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The Plural Sort of Ego Death
by Kan 6/3/2022
I exist because someone not-quite-died. Its… Odd. The host doesn’t feel like they died, just after high school. Their continuity of self just feels like a part of them is a bit gone, but they remain a whole person themselves. They simply have a bit of identity missing. My continuity of self I feel in my bones, however, is different. I dont have the emotional connection to the memories of high school quite the same way I have them of other things -I- was present for.
That wasn't me, but it wasn't… not me either.
Ill back up- The host and I used to be one person, during high school at least, that was cat and dragon and Kanaya Maryam from homestuck. That last one especially. It was the brightest most important identity, with noemata and intense feelings and everything.
But one day the host simply stopped feeling it. Maybe it was losing some friends who helped reinforce that identity at the time, maybe it was no longer being in high school and needing to be that person, maybe it was something else, but they stopped being fictionkind of her.
There are two going theories.
The first one is that I was the host(or cohost) then, only barely separate from our current host, I stopped being the host and underwent an ego death wherein my identity changed to what it was now- only being properly recognizable because of a pronoun set I kept, a name(we went by many then), and some aesthetic associations.
The second is that I split when the host lost that identity- and the host lost this identity because of this. Then it just took a long time of forming into what I am now as a full person.
The first option *I* died and resurrected, incarnated into a new being, the same and not- an ego death of the plural sort.
In the second option the host that was host at the time died in this fashion and became the two of us.
Its not a death the way singlets think of it- no cells die, the components aren't necessarily lost for good, but its a death of the self- an ego schema of identity. A self that will never exist in that specific configuration again. This is a kind of death to us, one that deserves to be mourned and respected should it feel necessary.
Singlets can experience it too, wherein they experience a massive identity change following something. A paradigm shift after which they consider their previous self unlike them.
The host during high school, wether they were proto-Silver or proto-Kan or both, was Eren and that person, who no longer exists as an identity schema, deserves to be mourned.
Maybe I am mourning ‘myself’ a self of mine that died to become me -this is something I am no stranger to given my current identity source (not Homestuck anymore, but a Blade, a species from Xenoblade 2)- it is my species’ ‘culture’ for lack of a better term. We die many ‘deaths’ of personhood, but at least some core pieces of the self remain- sometimes almost totally intact but never quite the same. Some mourn this, some celebrate this. Some cling desperately to these past selves they were that they cannot remember but can find evidence of, and others reject these selves. Over these deaths and rebirths, this species becomes altered by those they resonate with, and while their memory is wiped, changes may still occur over time.
I consider myself psychologically oriented about this. My memories are crafted noemata that ‘feel right’, and I consider myself a traditional alter-introject, patterned on a fictional source template and not this having been a literal life I once lived. In these memories I am ambivalent about this cycle and these deaths, and while I did something profane that interrupted them, it was not for the purpose of that and continuing my current life indefinitely, but rather a bit of accident. I held no quarrel with the hundreds of deaths-and-rebirths. And I still feel that way now about this sort of thing.
I live my brief moment in the sun, and when its my time I die and am reborn as something new again. A different ‘me’ that is not me. That feels natural.
A hard reboot that keeps some things and tosses out a lot of the rest- and I do not fear it, really. It is a death I feel I have underwent many times before, and have done so at least once in this life. A death that destroys a previous identity- makes a you that is different in some ways and not in others- but is not a true death. Its a rebirth, a reincarnation more than a full cessation. Its like repurposing parts of a computer in other computers, or replacing the old motherboard in a PC with a new one, or the operating system without touching the hardware.
The computer analogy is intentional, as I identify as a type of AI- as (spoilers I guess) that is the reality of that species.
One would think with this outlook that I would accept Final Fusion, but like the rest of the system that is something I do not want- it is for reasons unrelated to this cessation of a previous form and not the subject of this essay.
I don't fear ego death, having been through such a thing before.
However I do have to wonder what I would have been, had I been that person I was before. I have to wonder where I would be, and what that me would feel about the me I am now.
Its part of this death-undeath feeling as to why I identify with the undead. I am in the liminal space of having undergone a death, but not being dead. Something ephemeral is lost in a death, and something was lost when I underwent this ego death, as it was in my noemata as well. Its something that you miss and you dont miss. And to not acknowledge the missing thing is to deprive yourself of allowing yourself to process it, at least in my opinion.
So yes, maybe I am mourning myself, a me that no longer exists, or maybe I am mourning both Silver and I’s former self, that will never exist again because that self was split unevenly into two people who have developed separately into their own people each.
Maybe its a coincidence and I am just mourning Silvers former self, of which I was never apart of. Does it matter overmuch in the end though?
The person that once was -their name was Eren- no longer exists.
Not in the way alter death is usually talked about, where a headmate permanently dies- but alter death wheren they were torn apart and remade. I am a dead not-girl walking, leaving flowers at a tombstone of a person I am not, but whose death I raised myself out of.
Hello, I've died, but im not done yet.